Not Stress Eating
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Just a little background. I was married for 30 years. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. My wasband, as I call him now, suffered from a lifetime of gender dysphoria and the shame and self-loathing spilled over onto me. After the nest emptied this became so bad that I had to get myself out of the daily anger fests where he would yell and swear at me for hours. I offered to spend my retirement savings on any sort of surgery he wanted and we could move to a new city as a lesbian couple. But no, he was stuck in all the hate he felt for himself and sadly I had to move out to get away from his bubbling over toxicity. It was rough for a year but now we have created a hole new friendship. We've been divorced for 4 years and both of us are very proud of the new relationship we have developed.
But every once in a great while (once a year maybe) all the hurt I felt and all the anger he felt festers up and we end up bickering over something that happened in the 80s. Through our break up I saw an amazing councilor for 3 years and really did a lot of work on myself while he chose to just bury all the hurt and hate. So when these rough patches happen I am very good and taking a few deep breaths, focus on the buried reasons for the spat, and really try to deescalate the situation. This helps me enormously but at the same time he is getting more and more angry. Usually he ends up leaving in a huff but then apologizing for being an ass a day or two later.
So this happened for the first time since long before covid last night. We live separately, both work at home, and are each other's isolation buddy. We often get together at my house to play cribbage or Wii games. It was a stupid spat like they always are. We don't fight about big things, just stupid little things that are loaded with many underlying issues that were never really ironed out. This one started out by how we like our beds made. It spilled over to some pretty toxic memories and we spiraled into all the old patterns. I was hurt and he was angry. Before things got super horrid, he left and went home. Ugh. The funny part was right after he slammed the door he immediately had to come back because he forgot to grab his helmet. Then 5 minutes later he knocked on my door because he had forgotten his purse. Each time he was a humorous combination of anger and shame-facedness. I didn't laugh but honestly, it did take a bit off the top of all the stress.
So there I was, physically riled by the whole scene. My pulse was over the moon. My breathing was shallow - I was inhaling but not really exhaling. Instantly I wanted chocolate, potato chips, and maybe even a soda which is weird because I really don't like soda. I had a big gaping hole that I just wanted to stuff with sugar and fat.
Luckily I don't really have anything in the house that is emotionally binge-worthy. But still.
I anchored myself to my chair because even though I still had plenty of calories left in my budget to eat dinner on, I did not trust myself to walk into the kitchen. I just sat and breathed and remembered how much pain he is in over his gender issues. I pictured him in a pink bubble of protection and healing. I felt bad for him. But I also felt bad for myself so I put myself in a (separate) bubble of protection and healing as well. I concentrated on my breathing. I counted my blessings. I thought about my new little nest I've created for myself. I thought about how successful I've been with eating clean and moving everyday. I repeated my favorite wasband-related mantra - "it's his bad day, not mine" I stayed glued to that spot until I could trust myself to make rational decisions in the kitchen.
When I finally did let myself think about dinner I decided that I really did deserve to have a treat so I made myself a HUGE greek yogurt parfait with fresh strawberries, blueberries, granola, and walnuts. I layered all these in a glass bowl so I could see all the pretty layers. I was truly grateful for my strength getting through it and enjoyed that parfait like it was the most decadent thing I could have done for myself. It helped. But eventually, going to bed still a little stressed by the whole thing.
This morning I woke up feeling really good about how I reacted to everything last night. I woke up energetic and proud of my decisions. I woke up not needing an apology but not needing to fall at his feet and apologizing for my reactions to his anger. I woke up knowing that I can take care of myself in a healthy and caring way. I woke up to an amazing and beautiful morning full of challenges and opportunities knowing I can trust myself to do my best for my body, my heart and my future. I truly hope he has gotten over his anger but if not "it's his bad day, not mine."